Air Fry Sage Leaves To Give Fall Dishes A Flavor Boost

Sage is the ultimate autumn herb. Although it can be enjoyed any time of the year, its warm and woodsy profile makes it ideal for recipes with a similarly cozy vibe. The interesting thing about sage, however, is that it doesn't just fit into one gustatory box. As earthy and peppery as it may be, there's an herbal prominence to sage that's reminiscent of pine, eucalyptus, and citrus. Since it bursts with complexity, it goes without saying that sage makes a great addition to any dish that lacks a wow factor. This is particularly true if sage is fried, or better yet, air fried.

Along with imparting another layer of flavor, frying sage is a great way to add crunch to any dish. Given that the grayish-green leaves tend to be fuzzy like velvet when raw, cooking improves the texture by crisping up the leaves. It also softens the intensity of the sage, allowing it to become nuttier. Yet, while leaves can be pan-fried, air frying sage simplifies the process. In addition to being a much speedier way to fry leaves, using an air fryer even saves you from oil splatters and frequent flipping.

Air frying sage starts with giving leaves a rinse and patting them dry. After coating them lightly with oil, arrange sage leaves in a single layer and let them air fry at 400° Fahrenheit for a couple of minutes until crisp. It really doesn't get any easier than that!

Take air-fried sage leaves to the next level

To highlight the delicately nuanced profile of sage, keep seasonings simple. A drizzle of oil along with salt and pepper are enough to enhance flavor without detracting from its complexity. However, if you want to impart more flavor, there are endless ways to get creative. Aside from oils like grassy olive or buttery avocado oil, you can toss leaves with leftover bacon fat or a touch of melted duck fat for a savory twist. As for seasonings, try not to weigh down sage leaves by using sticky sauces or chunky condiments. Instead, a modest sprinkle of powdered rosemary or thyme powder can accentuate the sage's woodsy quality, whereas garlic or mushroom powder can amp up the umami. You could finish with flakes of spiced or smoked salt, as well.

While they can be enjoyed on their own as chips, air-fried sage leaves can also be a great addition to grazing boards with cheeses and jams. They also can be served whole or crumbled over all sorts of dishes. Thanks to sage's freshness, it wonderfully contrasts decadent foods like buttery smashed sweet potatoes, savory pork sliders, creamy squash soup, cheesy pumpkin risotto, or a fall-inspired cranberry and couscous salad. Air-fried sage can even make an awesome ice cream topping alongside salted caramel.